Optimization techniques are increasingly being used for performing nonlinear structural analysis. The development of element by element (EBE) preconditioned conjugate gradient (CG) techniques is expected to extend this trend to linear analysis. Under these circumstances the structural design problem can be viewed as a nested optimization problem. There are computational benefits to treating this nested problem as a large single optimization problem. The response variables (such as displacements) and the structural parameters are all treated as design variables in a unified formulation which performs simultaneously the design and analysis. Two examples are used for demonstration. A seventy-two bar truss is optimized subject to linear stress constraints and a wing box structure is optimized subject to nonlinear collapse constraints. Both examples show substantial computational savings with the unified approach as compared to the traditional nested approach.